Magical Mocktails

To toast the finale of my book series, I wanted to craft a delicious beverage that tied in with the books and was a little out of the ordinary.

Enter the color-changing magic of butterfly pea flower tea!

A squeeze of lemon turns an indigo-blue drink into a purple-pink beauty

Though I’d heard of this drink through the interwebs, I hadn’t ever tried it myself. So I ordered some dried butterfly pea flowers, and once they arrived I infused them in hot water inside a big Mason jar. The deep blue infusion was gorgeous enough as it was – but I watched in glee as I squeezed in a lemon and the tea changed colors right before my very eyes!

The tea doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so in keeping with the floral theme I added some rose syrup. Rose/lemon is one of my favorite flavor combos, and the vibrant colors of this mocktail make it an extra-special celebratory brew. Bonus: the purple color makes the perfect homage to the mushroom on the cover of What We Bury.

Magical, indeed!

Magical Mocktails

This refreshing, color-changing beverage is perfect for a hot summer's day. Make the syrup and tea infusion ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 1 drink


For the Rose Syrup (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp rose extract (or 2 TB rosewater)

For Each Mocktail

  • 1 tsp dried butterfly pea flowers
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 wedge fresh lemon


Make the Rose Syrup

  • Boil the water in a small saucepan and add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and add the rose extract or rosewater. If using extract, you may want to start with only a few drops at first, as it can be quite strong, and adjust the amount to your taste.
  • Chill the syrup in the fridge until ready to use.

Make the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea

  • Steep 1 teaspoon of butterfly pea flowers in 1 cup of hot water for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain out the flowers and place the tea in a glass cup. Be careful – the deep blue liquid stains easily!
  • Chill in the fridge if you won't be using the infusion right away. If you want your mocktail now, add some ice to cool it down.

Make the Drink(s)

  • Stir 1-2 teaspoons of rose syrup into your tea infusion.
  • Squeeze in the juice from the fresh lemon wedge, and watch the magic happen. The blue infusion will turn a lovely purple shade right before your eyes!
  • Add more lemon or rose syrup to taste.


If rose isn’t your jam, feel free to experiment with other flavors! Just remember that any acidic additions will cause the color to turn.
  • Infuse the simple syrup with culinary lavender instead of rose extract
  • Try the rosemary-bay syrup from my pomegranate mocktail recipe
  • For purple lemonade, add more lemon and use plain simple syrup or other sweetener of your choice – or just go without for a tart, refreshing lemony drink!

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